Posts tagged with "security"

It Is Time to Rethink the Services You Use

People everywhere are rethinking how they consume entertainment and utilities in their homes. With the variety of services now available to homeowners, it is important to know what the options are. Many companies are producing new products that provide solutions beyond traditional services. Today you can find more personalized and cost-effective solutions as a consumer than ever before.

Utilities

The renewable energy options available for residences are changing the way people think about their energy consumption. Traditional means of providing energy to a home by gas or electricity companies are no longer the only cost-effective energy solutions. Renewable energy resources such as solar panels are readily available for residences. These can help support or sustain a home’s energy usage. Residential internet options are now more varied than they have ever been. Companies like Starry are providing next-gen home internet services in Los Angeles and other major cities. Consumers using these newer services are finding that high quality does not require high cost.

Entertainment

In-home entertainment is much more than the typical cable or satellite television. There are a variety of streaming services that offer many entertainment options. Today’s consumers are mixing and matching services to get exactly what they want while still saving money. Television isn’t the only form of entertainment with a variety of ways to consume. There are services to rent and stream movies, video games, and even local TV. With so many options on the market, you can customize what you have available in your home and ensure you always get to see and do what you want.

Security

A professional home security system and monitoring may be the best way to protect your home, but the options available for homeowners are more varied than ever. Smart home products such as doorbells with cameras, smart door locks and garage door openers are changing the home security game. These can often be monitored by the homeowner or combined with professional monitoring services for a more comprehensive solution. Assess your security needs and find the most cost-effective solution with the help of Locksmith Salem to keep your home protected.

Advances in technology and services that are readily available are helping homeowners make better choices about how they spend their money and what they choose to consume. People are finding personalized solutions for their homes that are benefiting their wallets as well as the environment. Take the time to look into the variety of services available and find your new favorite.

360 MAGAZINE , Vaughn Lowery

The Truth About Tribal Lending

Each of us is familiar with tribal loans. This type of loan has gained immense popularity among the middle-income population. Also, the financial market is filled with a large number of organizations that specialize in the issuance of tribal loans. This situation is easily explained by the fact that these companies have a very significant percentage for the services provided. So how can one choose from a variety of proposals that will allow you to borrow money safely and to protect yourself from the debt hole?

What are Tribal Loans

The history of tribal loan development goes far into the past, where the main purpose was to provide timely credit to the poor. It was believed that if a poor person was provided with financial support, then they can be encouraged to create own business, which would lead to the creation of new jobs and help eradicate poverty.

To date, many microcredit organizations do not pursue such a global goal. The amount of money provided is given to the borrower at a high-interest rate. Thus, talking about tribal payday loans, they foresee the provision of small amounts of money at a certain percentage for a short period. 

Before signing a loan agreement, each borrower must know and understand that this type of product has both positive and negative sides. There is no doubt that this type of product is especially beneficial for young entrepreneurs who can return funds in a fairly short time.

Besides that, the advantages of tribal loans include the following:

  • No paperwork. Only a password is required. 
  • No income statement required.
  • No need to provide a guarantor.
  • Indifferent attitude to the credit history of the client.
  • Deciding on the possibility of a microloan at the first application takes a little more than half an hour. If the client subsequently calls for the service again, the decision is made already in a shorter time.
  • There is no need to provide a security deposit. Money is issued without any security. However, if the borrower needs a larger amount, then the organization may require a certain type of collateral.
  • The organization that issues such a loan does not control for what purpose the money is received and where it is spent.

The minuses of tribal loans include the following:

  • The main disadvantage of this product is its excessively high-interest rates.
  • Many clients are dependent on this type of borrowed funds.

Conclusion

Each microcredit organization issues funds following its conditions. The age of the client is not ignored. For example, some do not give money to pensioners, while others, on the contrary, treat them more loyally. Therefore, before filling out the questionnaire, it is necessary to ask as many questions as possible to eliminate unpleasant moments in the future.

Undoubtedly, a tribal loan can serve as a powerful impetus for the development and establishment of financial well-being. However, to achieve this goal, the borrower will need to put a lot of effort. Otherwise, thoughtless actions can lead to significant debt.

Hotel Property Management Tips

5 Tips To Choose The Right Property Management System For Your Hotel

Hoteliers and their staff are busy all the time. Anything that can take some weight off their shoulders will help them to work on other important tasks. Property Management System is the solution as it removes repetitive tasks and takes care of time-consuming processes. But the problem is: choosing the right PMS tool to help manage your property. Making a wrong move will result in losing not only money but a great deal of your time too. Here are five tips to help you choose the right property management system for your hotel.

Mind the Costs

Look for what your business needs and then choose a PMS that will meet the requirement. Even though costs will play an essential factor, it’s important to have a system that works with your workflow and meets your needs. Take advantage of the free trial or demo, which in fact is something you should ask first, and see whether it’s suitable for your hotel.

Opt for a cloud-based rather than the premise-based system which is more costly. The cloud-based system will not require you to hire an IT service to manage it. You will only have your computer or mobile to deal with. Remember to find something that favors your pocket.

Security Should be of Concern

To safeguard all the information about your guests’ data and prevent any breaches, security should be your concern. In an era where customer privacy is of utmost importance, and you don’t want to lose them, you should ask for a hotel property management system demo from every provider to see what they have as far as security is concerned.

Security breaches in hotels can involve password theft, network compromise, personal data compromise, etc. All the breaches are dealt with individually. Some need an application firewall to solve the problem while others are more complex and require a closer look.

Form a Plan and a Team

Unless you have a small-home-turned-hotel where you and your spouse are the team, one of the critical things to do is forming an integration team consisting of managers and staff. The importance of doing this is to make sure that the PMS addresses most of the needs in your hotel and it’s evaluated from different viewpoints.

Creating a plan and a team will also allow you to involve the eventual users, who are the staff. For small hotels or lodgings, ma’ and pa’ sit down and discuss the plan because they are the staff. It’s a vital decision to make and not even the activities of the day should make you forget about it. It will make your life easier and allow you to make more money.

Look For a PMS Provider Offering Training

Hospitality is an ever functional industry running 24/7, and you should look for providers who can offer support whenever you need. That should also mean that they are available to troubleshoot any problems you might face. Go for a PMS that provides training for the first-time users and also provides a refresher course in case you need it later on.

Ongoing training and support will help you understand new features and integrations. It’s vital to find a PMS that offers assistance so that you can solve some of the issues you might have.

Find One that Can be Integrated with Other Apps

PMS should be able to perform all the tasks flawlessly with other apps, that means, data from PMS can be transferred to other apps seamlessly so that work can be managed better. Inquire to understand whether the app can communicate and integrate with other systems.

What does this mean? For instance, if you have been storing all your data as Microsoft Excel file then you adopt a new web-based app, the data can be copied accurately and correctly such that no one will have to type it all again i.e. PMS with csv import-export feature.

Think about yourself, your staff and your property. What could make their work easier and boost your profits at the same time? The answer is the Property Management System. Use the tips above to choose the most convenient one.

Dealing with the Russians

Andrew Monaghan Presents his plan for moving forward with Russia in “Dealing with the Russians”

How to handle Russia? This question has become ever more prominent as the Euro-Atlantic community’s relations with Russia languish in deep in systemic crisis, with dialogue suspended, reciprocal sanctions in place and proxy wars raging. The wars in Ukraine and Syria, accusations of Russian interference in domestic politics and the attempted assassination of the Skripals on UK soil have all contributed to soaring tension in the relationship.

Yet faced with this array of serious challenges, Euro-Atlantic thinking about Russia remains stuck in twentieth-century rhetoric, trapped by misleading abstract labels and unsure whether to engage Moscow in dialogue or enhance deterrence and collective defence. Instead of thinking in these terms, leading Russia expert Andrew Monaghan argues that we must devise a new grand strategy for dealing with the Russians. Examining the ongoing Euro-Atlantic debate over Russia and framing Moscow’s own position towards the West, he sets out the foundations of a forward-looking strategy; one that can accommodate the many complex challenges presented by this new era of competition between Russia, Europe and the United States.

The Author

Andrew Monaghan is Director of Research on Russia and Northern European Defence and Security, The Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College, University of Oxford.

Reviews

“A brilliant and hugely enjoyable book. Cogent, well researched and cleverly argued, Monaghan’s illuminating analysis serves as a timely reminder of the dangers of misunderstanding Russia and an “antidote” to Russian stereotypes that prevail in the West.” – Nazrin Mehdiyeva, St Antony’s College, Oxford

“An aggressive, revanchist Russia and the return of Great Power competition make this book required reading.  Monaghan’s extensive knowledge of Russian history, politics, language, and culture give him insights that are crucial to understanding Russia and finding a way back to some sort of normal relationship between Russia and the West.” – LTG (Ret) Ben Hodges, Center for European Policy Analysis

“Dealing with the Russians provides a fresh, informed, and rational approach to solving the problems that arise when nations attempt to deal strategically with the Russian Federation. It will be essential reading for those who prefer to master history rather than fall victim to it.” – David M. Glantz, Carlisle, PA

New Robotics

New Robotics: Shifting Business Models

IDTechEx Research analyzes the changing trends in the robotics industry in their report New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players, as new and emerging firms challenge the norm.

Machine makers in many established markets sell their machines directly or through dealer networks. At times, they create additional revenue streams by offering technical after-sales support. They often hope that the installed base of their machines together with limited incompatibility with competitors’ products provides some lock-in mechanism. They also seek to build-in some technology obsolescence into their product cycles. Some also provide finance, directly or jointly with a finance entity, to help potential customers overcome the barrier of the upfront cost.

Many traditional robot suppliers fit the description above. Integrators often install a robotic or automated solution and provide after-sale technical support. They make it difficult to integrate competitors’ robots with their solutions and offer regular hardware and software updates.

New and emerging robotic firms, however, do not easily fit this bill. They are, in fact, challenging the established norms. This is sometimes through will and sometimes through necessity. The trend towards alternative models is evident across all sectors that new robotics seeks to impact. This includes retail, agriculture, logistics, delivery, security, cleaning, transport, and so on.

In the next few paragraphs, we outline some trends and drives in each sector. To get the complete picture please see the IDTechEx Research New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players. This report is unique in its depth and breadth. It covers both existing as well as emerging applications. Indeed, it provides 21-year forecasts in value and unit numbers for 46 categories, painting a comprehensive and quantitative picture of this major transformation.

Agriculture

Autonomous robots can provide automated precision weeding. Robotic intelligent implementation can provide precision spraying or weeding, too. The upfront machine or fleet costs are often high today. The technology risk for end users is also high. Users are often afraid that expert operators and repair persons will be needed. They worry that the technology is not tried and tested, especially in an agricultural environment. They fear that the technology is likely to rapidly evolve, exposing them to serious obsolescence risks. Crucially, they require seasonal services and are accustomed to paying wages and not making significant capital investments into machines with low utilization rates.

To address these challenges, many companies are positioning as a RaaS- robotic as a service. They essentially become weeding service providers. They operate or monitor their own machines. They charge the customer per acre, a metric with which they are likely familiar. They absorb the technology risk. Crucially, they give their robots extensive field practice and will have the chance to gather data and feedback. This is important because the design of these products and services is still in a state of flux with many further iterations anticipated.

This positioning changes the nature of their business. Companies will require additional working capital and staff to absorb the service costs and to offer a sufficiently scaled service network. They cannot simply build to order to balance their cash flows. This is where partnerships will become important. This is also where early capital investments in case of start-ups become a necessity, as most will operate heavily in the red in the early years of their operations.

With time and technology maturity the model may revert back to a traditional arrangement, or will it? This is an ongoing debate because traditional heavy agricultural machine makers will also need to adapt their models. This is inevitable because as vehicles become more autonomous, in navigation and task, the machine becomes the services, blurring the boundary between equipment sales and service provision.  The whole value chains will need to adjust and even the dealers will need to find their sweet spots evolving their technical support into full-blown remote robot operations. To learn more please read New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players.

Last mile delivery

Many small robots are appearing worldwide to solve the productivity problem present at the last stage of the delivery process: the last mile. These small slow robots autonomously deliver small payloads to their final destinations. At the level of individual machines, there are highly unproductive. However, at the level of a large fleet, without a driver overhead per unit, they can become productive and commercially viable.

Here two business models have emerged. Some follow the traditional model of trying to sell their robots. Others are positioning as delivery firms staffed mainly by autonomous robots. This latter model is adopted for many good reasons. It is envisioned that the hardware will in the future become modular, standardized, and highly commoditized.  Essentially the same fate as consumer drones awaits the hardware platform. Competing in such a business would not be easy for start-ups, especially those based in California and similar start-up hubs.

Crucially, the robot companies require practice data. This is because they will need to improve their delivery and navigation algorithms so that one day they can operate large fleets in complex environments with high-speed units. The data loop would be cut if they just sold a machine and walked out. The data acquisition is a fundamental part of product improvement without which the company would likely stall. It will also open up the door to offering high value-added analytics services.

The technology is still immature. As such, it will require close monitoring and likely regular manual interventions to fix issues. As such, most players will, as a minimum, be forced to add a strong 24/7 service element to their business.

To learn more, please see the IDTechEx Research report Mobile Robots and Drones in Material Handling and Logistics 2018-2038. This report is focused on all aspects of mobile robotics in material handling and logistics. In particular, we consider the following: automated guided vehicles and carts (AGVs and AGCs); autonomous mobile vehicles and carts/units; mobile picking robots; last mile delivery ground robots (droids) and drones; and autonomous trucks and light delivery vans (level 4 and level 5 automation).

Logistics

Robotic firms are emerging to enable autonomous robotic picking. These robots combine autonomous mobility with autonomous picking skills. Here, too, companies are frequently positioning themselves as a service provider, charging a monthly subscription fee or a $ per pick rate.

In this case, too, robotic companies require the data. Their picking algorithms are based on deep learning and as such without training data their product roadmap will likely stall. This would be very dangerous to their business prospects because today’s generation of products only manages to slowly pick regularly-shaped known objects in simple environments. The future, however, is fast picking of novel randomly-shaped items in complex environments. To traverse this competency gap, data will be indispensable. The users too will require ongoing support. They too will prefer not to absorb the technology risk, especially since the technology – both hardware and software – are rapidly evolving. As such, a service model can prove win-win.

To learn more please visit www.IDTechEx.com/mobile.

Security

Autonomous mobile robots are developed to perform various security-related tasks. These robots are being designed for indoor, outdoor and even rugged terrain operation. They are essentially sensors-on-a-wheel. Some versions can have more than 50-onboard sensors, generating nearly 100 terabytes of data per year per machine. These robots can be deployed wherever some type of security and monitoring is required.

Here, too, firms are not always adopting an outright equipment sales model. It is common to seek a subscription model for giving customers access to the machine, the interface, the data plan, the 24/7 support, etc. Here, too, such arrangements can be win-win. The suppliers will retain that crucial data loop in their business models, enabling them to improve their products, for example, by offering specialized algorithms able to detect, recognize, and analyze specific situations, e.g., from car number plate recognition to detection of dangerous gas leakages in an industrial site. Customers, too, will take this arrangement because it is closer to an end solution and makes it easier for them to test the technology and the new ways of working that it might enable.

To learn more please see New Robotics and Drones 2018-2038: Technologies, Forecasts, Players. This report provides detailed technology analysis, assessing the trends in performance and price of key enabling hardware and software technologies whilst considering likely technology development roadmaps. We will also profile the key companies and innovative entities working on new robotics and drones.

Retail

Autonomous robots are also finding their way into retail stores, seeking to automate tedious tasks. In particular, they are being offered essentially as automated data acquisition tools, capturing data about items on the shelves with higher speed and accuracy than humans.

Here firms are positioning as full solution providers. This has many advantages. This future-proofs their business against hardware commoditization. They can accumulate hard-to-obtain and hard-to-copy knowhow and data which can then underpin their value-added data analytics services. Their customers too will be interested in a final solution and not another alien technology looking for a problem to solve. At the end of the day, they are interested only in an impact on the bottom line, be it higher stock availability, better stock positioning on shelves, or leaner inventories. As such, data-centric service-orientated models can be win-win propositions.

This shift towards non-traditional business models permeates every sector. It is happening even with cars where the rise of mobility is fueling serious debates about the future of mobility and the role of autonomous taxi fleets and shared facilities. In general, even if the business models are not radically redrawn, the profit pool within the value chain will be re-balanced. This will change the winners and losers and will demand that all participants begin looking ahead and planning now.

To learn more, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/robotics or contact research@IDTechEx.com.

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research, Consultancy and Events services, helping you profit from emerging technologies. Find out more at www.IDTechEx.com.

Frances Dewing 

In light of the Equifax, Yahoo and NFL cyber attacks, the importance of cyber security is more evident than ever. But what can cyber firms do to keep innovating and stay ahead of attacks? 

According to Rubica, the answer is diversity. A full-service cyber security firm whose client roster includes celebrities, start-up founders, bankers and other wealthy elite, Rubica understands the need to stay ahead of the curve. 

Chief Operating Officer Frances Dewing, a Washington State attorney with years of experience in the cyber security and security industries, knows that since Rubica is at the cutting edge of cyber security, they have to innovate constantly and think outside the box. 

Below, Frances explains how diversity plays a part in the company’s growth:

  • If Rubica isn’t creatively solving problems, they’re always going to be behind in terms of cyber criminals
  • Diversity is an imperative for innovation – in offering unique perspectives, challenging status quo, and expanding problem solving in new dimensions
  • The very institution of the tech industry has a lack of diversity built-in; and if companies don’t intentionally look for that and challenge it, the problem won’t be fixed 

Rubica looks at a number of factors when hiring, from skills, experience and collaborative abilities, but one of the core aspects desirable in candidates is adding a diverse perspective to the team.  
In a time when cyber criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to attack and hide from the authorities, a fresh point of view is necessary for cyber security firms.

Frances Dewing runs Rubica’s core operations teams, including cyber operations, customer support, finance, legal and human resources. Formerly COO of Concentric Advisors, a consultancy specializing in cyber and physical security for some of the world’s most high-profile figures, Frances was instrumental in building Concentric’s business in Seattle and Silicon Valley. Frances is a Washington State attorney with a JD from the University of Washington.